If you are among those who have a penchant for sodas and other sugary drinks, you may be in for more than just high blood sugar and cavity-prone teeth; you may also end up suffering an increase in blood pressure.
According to a feature on the Los Angeles Times, a study published in the journal Hypertension found a link between the regular consumption of sugary drinks and a rise in blood pressure. This was determined by the INTERMAP (International study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure) study, which conducted an analysis of data from 2,696 middle-aged adults in the United States and the U.K. The blood pressure of the study participants was taken on several occasions, and urine analysis samples were taken for two 24-hour periods. The participants were also asked about their diet in the previous 24 hours.
Ian Brown of Imperial College London and colleagues reported that an extra serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage daily led to a rise in systolic blood pressure of 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and an elevation of diastolic blood pressure by 0.8 mm Hg higher blood pressure readings.
The opposite relationship, however, was observed for diet drinks.
What may be the reason for this link? There are animal studies, as well as a few clinical trials, that indicate that extra glucose and fructose have an effect on blood pressure. In the case of fructose, scientists gave the following explanation, as shared on the feature: “Fructose is ultimately metabolized to uric acid, which can cause the body to reduce blood levels of nitric oxide.” Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate; if the body has less of it, then blood pressure may rise.